moderated An Older ElBraille: How Best To Read BRFs?

Kane Brolin


In the summer of 2019, I purchased (for a deep discount) an ElBraille
4th Generation. This model had just been released into the
marketplace, at least in some parts of the world, and I purchased it
from a friend in essentially brand-new condition. I do not regret my
purchase, but I have found that some hiccups exist in the 4G model.
Most significantly, there is no menu button between Dot 1 and Dot 4 of
the Braille keyboard on my version of the Focus display which is
attached to the 4G ElBraille I bought.

I have read that the Focus Scratchpad is a great way to read and edit
BRF during times when the Focus display itself has been untethered
from the ElBraille, at least from a software perspective. But
Scratchpad seems unavailable to me, since this Menu button is said to
be required for one to get into Scratchpad and I don't have that

It seems my Focus does have a micro-SD slot that may be used for
storing and accessing files. But I cannot find any way to get into
the Scratchpad function, if there even is one.

In the event my unit does not have Scratchpad capability, is there a
software work-around? I have no problem reading DAISY books with the
ElBraille using FS Reader. But FS Reader does not support BRF, as far
as I know. So is my best bet going to be the purchase and
installation of OpenBook or Kurzweil 1000?

Alternatively--and I know this would cost a lot of money--could I
purchase a Focus 5 40-cell display and get FS to retrofit this updated
Braille display to my ElBraille 4G?

I agree with the proposition that it is great to have a full, Windows
10 computer in a blindness notetaker chassis. But at this point, at
least for me, this works out in theory better than in practice. This
lack of native BRF support on the ElBraille is disturbing indeed, and
it's amazing that not more users openly express frustration about this
as I do.

Thanks for any help you may provide.

Kind regards,

Kane Brolin
(574)386-8868 (mobile)

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